AUSTIN, Texas - A special deputy receiver on Sept. 28 asked a Texas court to approve a settlement agreement under which an insurer's rehabilitation estate will pay the U.S. government $33 million regarding certain customs bonds (State of Texas v. Highlands Insurance Company, No. D-1-GV-03-004537, Texas, 53rd Dist., Travis Co.).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A panel of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on Sept. 29 affirmed a trial court's decision granting summary judgment to a landlord who had been sued for damages related to lead-paint exposure. The panel concluded that evidence was lacking regarding other possible sources of the plaintiffs' alleged lead-based paint exposure (Patricia Barr, et al. v. Stanley Rochkind, No. 1152, Sept. Term 2014; 2015 Md. App. LEXIS 125).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel held Sept. 30 that there is a material issue of fact regarding the proper method of subsurface repair in a sinkhole coverage dispute, reversing and remanding a lower court's order granting summary judgment in favor of the insurer (Lizardo Estrada, et al. v. Tower Hill Select Insurance Co., et al., No. 2D13-3671 c/w No. 2D14-1101, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 14444).
BENTON, Ill. - A federal judge in Illinois on Sept. 28 declined to consolidate for trial four asbestos cases, saying in a docket entry that while the cases share common legal issues, case-specific facts prevented consolidation from preserving judicial economy (Kenneth R. Greenleaf Sr. v. Atlas Copco Compressors LLC, et al., No. 14-51, S.D. Ill.).
NEW YORK - A federal magistrate judge in New York on Sept. 29 ordered defendants in a securities class action lawsuit to produce a privilege log containing certain information sought by the named plaintiff in the action showing why it is covered by work product privilege (In re Symbol Technologies Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 05-3923, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131478).
CAMDEN, N.J. - Although an insured has added necessary additional factual allegations in his insurance bad faith complaint to support most of his claims against his homeowners insurance provider, he has failed to state a plausible claim for violation of a state law consumer fraud protection law, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Sept. 29 (Steven Breitman v. National Surety Corp., No. 14-7843, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130744).
CHICAGO - The Illinois federal judge overseeing the testosterone replacement therapy multidistrict litigation on Sept. 30 denied dismissal of the plaintiffs' contested claims of design defect, negligence and redhibition and ordered discovery into the court's jurisdiction over a Belgian defendant and its U.S. subsidiary (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Product Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, No. 14-1748, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 28 affirmed a district court's dismissal of claims asserted by property owners against a bank, finding that the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) was not in effect at the relevant time and that the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) does not impose a legal duty of care on lender (Roderick Ray, et al. v. U.S. Bank National Association, Successor Trustee to Bank of America, Successor by Merger to LaSalle Bank, N.A., No. 15-1241, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17220).
BOSTON - A panel of the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 30 vacated dismissal of a False Claims Act complaint against a medical device manufacturer because it said the lower court judge applied the wrong standard in not allowing the relator to file an amended complaint (United States of America ex rel. Jeffrey D'Agostino, et al. v. ev3, Inc., et al., No. 14-2145, 1st Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17214).
SAN FRANCISCO - National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations are subject to antitrust scrutiny, and pursuant to the Rule of Reason, the NCAA must allow its schools to provide compensation to their student-athletes up to the cost of attendance, a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 30 (Edward C. O'Bannon, Jr., et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, AKA The NCAA, et al., Nos. 14-16601 and 14-17068, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17193).
NEW YORK - A New York state jury on Sept. 25 awarded $25 million to a man for his mesothelioma, holding brake-grinding machine manufacturer Hennessy Industries Inc. 86 percent liable for the man's injury (Walter Miller v. BMW of North America LLC, et al., No. 190087/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
MADISON, Wis. - Finding that reasonable jurors could conclude that processors fabricated in Texas but completed overseas and never sold in or imported into the United States after completion could nonetheless be capable of infringement at the point of manufacture, a Wisconsin federal judge on Sept. 29 reserved a motion by Apple Inc. to limit the royalty base in an upcoming patent trial (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation v. Apple Inc., No. 14-62, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130906).
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge held Sept. 28 that because any lost earnings stemming from a Ponzi scheme perpetuated by an insured's investment advisers were not "owned" by the insured pursuant to a blanket crime policy, the insurer has no duty to indemnify its insured (3M Company, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa, et al., No. 14-CV-1058 (PJS/JSM), D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131197).
BILLINGS, Mont. - A retailer's insurers were not obligated to provide a defense in two underlying lawsuits related to the retailer's installation of spyware on computers it sold to customers, a Montana federal judge found in a pair of Sept. 25 rulings granting the insurers' summary judgment motions, finding that policy exclusions for the recording or distribution of private material precluded coverage (American Economy Insurance Co., et al. v. Aspen Way Enterprises Inc., et al., No. 1:14-cv-00009, D. Mont.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129274).
TRENTON, N.J. - Shingle manufacturer Maibec Inc. says in an opposition brief filed Sept. 29 in New Jersey federal court that a request to certify two discovery rulings for appeal filed by plaintiffs who claim the shingles are defective is frivolous and worthy of sanctions because the decisions did not absolve the company from producing electronically stored information (ESI) and allow discovery from a retained expert (Ilene Stern, et al. v. Maibec Inc., No. 11-3951, D. N.J.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal judge on Sept. 29 awarded $3 million in a take-home asbestos case after finding that Alabama law imposes a duty on employers to protect household members from asbestos exposure and applying substantial factor causation (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 12-S-1930, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130741).
SAN DIEGO - A California appeals court on Sept. 28 affirmed its decision that the only measure of restitution in a products action under California's unfair competition law (UCL) is the measure established in In re Vioxx Class of Cases ( 180 Cal.App.4th 116, 131 [103 Cal. Rptr. 3d 83]), affirming a trial court's decision refusing to award tobacco plaintiffs restitution (In re Tobacco Cases II, No. D065165, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 834).
NEW YORK - A New York justice on Sept. 25 issued an order to show cause, asking for input into a liquidator's request to close an insurer's liquidation and distribute its more than $3 million in assets (In the Matter of Essence Healthcare of New York, Inc., No. 452879/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
DENVER - A group of defendants who reneged on an earlier settlement of trademark and copyright infringement claims must pay a plaintiff $7.75 million, a sum that includes several statutory maximum damage amounts, a Colorado federal judge ruled Sept. 29 (Salba Corp. N.A., et al. v. X Factor Holdings LLC, et al., No. 12-1306, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130367).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - An additional insured sufficiently asserted counterclaims for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing against an insurer regarding the appointment of defense counsel in construction defect cases, a California federal judge ruled Sept. 28 (Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut and Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. KB Home North Bay, Inc. and KB Home Sacramento, Inc., No. 15-352 & Travelers Property Casualty Company of America and Fidelity & Guaranty Insurance Co. v. KB Home North Bay, Inc., No. 15-481, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130580).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Sept. 28 found that a borrower failed to submit evidence to support his claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) but allowed his claims against a loan servicer for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and another claim to proceed (Alex Rodriguez v. Seterus Inc., No. 15-61253, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130172).
SHREVEPORT, La. - Questions of material fact exist as to whether an insurer may be sued under the direct action statute without its insured being named in the lawsuit, which seeks costs for the insured's defective work on a highway, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Sept. 28 (JB James Construction LLC v. River Cities Sawing LLC, et al., No. 13-2490, W.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131074).
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on Sept. 28 issued a safety communication after receiving more than 300 medical device reports of incidents in which cranial perforators with automatic clutches failed to disengage, resulting in 200 head injuries.